What's the Buzz at Kalimba Magic?

Happy Mark

Miscellaneous news, happenings and other items of interest from Kalimba Magic!

Finding Your Way Around the Kalimba Magic Website

Looking for inspiration and beauty

Two months ago we looked at the Search Tool and Learn How Pages. These are purely practical aspects of the web site. Last month we looked at the different series of Tips of the Day that usually run on the Kalimba Magic web site (well, you'll have to look through the archives now as all of the tips' series have temporarily run dry).

This month we'll just be looking for inspirational and beautiful things. Our first stop is the Waking Dream.

The Waking Dream shows you the shape of my kalimba journey and also describes a vision I had a few months before Kalimba Magic was born - a vision of a world with a million kalimba players making beautiful kalimba music for their partners and families, neighbors and coworkers, and bringing peace and beauty to the world through their joyful vibrations.

Another place to look for beautiful things is in the Monday Tips archives, dedicated to Mind/Body/Spirit issues.

But the place where I give it all I've got is the Message from Mark, a relatively new feature of the Kalimba Magic newsletter. I aim to touch your heart with these messages, and more than one has had me in tears myself before I was done writing.

I invite you to read past Messages from Mark:

While the technical aspects of Kalimba Magic are really my forte, I also fuel the vision, and it is this spiritual side of Kalimba Magic that keeps my heart singing. I hope your heart is singing too!


Fathers Day 15% Off Sale: Now through June 20

Use the Coupon Code Fathers15 When Ordering OnLine

Father's Day is coming soon, and while a new grill or a set of power tools or a case of beer might seem more manly, a surprisingly large number of father-aged males are really into the kalimba or would be - if they had one! If you are the father, you might want to drop a hint to wife, son, or daughter.

Surprise that special father in your life with a special and meaningful Father's Day kalimba. The coupon code Fathers15 can be redeemed for 15% off from the online shop or phone-in orders up until June 20.


5 Year Aniversary 20% Off Sale: June 20, 2010

Use the Coupon Code FiveYears When Ordering Online

Kalimba Magic was born on June 20, 2005 when Christian Carver sent me an email asking him to help AMI by selling Hugh Tracey Kalimbas at my concerts. Sometimes things just click. Sometimes a match is lit, and the whole fireworks shed burst into flames. That is what it was like. I was looking for a job. I was looking to do something with music. I was intending to write a book teaching people how to play the Hugh Tracey kalimba. Christian Carver just had to smile in my direction, and POOF! Like Magic, and it's been POOFing! ever since.

My friend Curt Brill tells me that I am one of the few people he knows who is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing. While I am certainly happy to be fulfilling my destiny, this is as much a celebration of YOU, the greater kalimba community, as it is a celebration of the work and success which I have had. Without you, I'm just a weird guy looking like I'm on fire. With you digging the kalimba, well, we are doing something together, and I don't look quite as silly, because the flame of the kalimba is spreading from me to you - and sometimes the flame passes from you to me.

I do a lot of things for my customers that you won't find anyone else out there doing. Usually when I talk to customers, we spend some time figuring out what the best kalimba for them might be. Sometimes, a person just asks me to give them some tablature for some music on YouTube. Pat Hickey asked for tablature for the jam in Yekermo Sew, and, after I wrote it out, I realized that some more folks might be interested in it. Some unknown guy (I lost his info - hopefully he reads this month's newsletter) kept asking me for new tunings for the Catania 12-Note kalimba. This month, the 12-Note tunings are free for the taking. Kathryn Rambo's student said there ought to be a book for the pentatonic kalimba with well-known songs in it, and next month there will be. Someone asked me for help with reading musical notation, so I wrote a series of tips on it.

I don't have time to do everything that people ask of me, but I do find time to do a lot of these things, and it is a real joy to be able to help someone out with their special project or idea. And once I've done it, it is there on the web, available for the next person who is interested. I am the facilitator, but I am facilitating the ideas and desires of the kalimba community. I am collecting the collective wisdom of the kalimba community and archiving it at Kalimba Magic Dot Com. We are a team.

And so, looking back at the very full last five years of work, I take my hat off to you, and thank you for this symbiotic partnership that works in so many ways. But one of the most basic ways it works is I say "I have kalimbas" and you say "I'd like to buy a kalimba", and by buying a kalimba, you enable me to get more and keep on selling them and keep the kalimba makers in business.

To celebrate, I wish to share 20% off from your order on June 20, 2010 only - the day that marks five years of Kalimba Magic in the world. To redeem this discount, use the coupon code FiveYears. I won't be in the shop that day (Sunday), so if for some reason you cannot succesfully order or redeem your 20% off, give me a call at Kalimba Magic - 520-881-4666 - and we'll get it all sorted out on Monday, June 21.


Be in the Kalimba Magic 2011 Calendar/CD!

Who are the kalimba players that should be featured?

We are putting together a Kalimba Calendar for 2011. Each month will feature a different kalimba as well as a different kalimba player. Additionally, we plan to release a compilation CD with 12 tracks, one for each kalimba player featured through the year. We'll make 1000 copies of the 2011 Kalimba Calendar - the standard royalty payments are $0.10 per track per copy, so this is a way for you to get $100 and a short stack of free calendars with your music and picture to give away to your buddies.

Are you a hotshot kalimba player with a CD out? Call our attention to your music by sending in a photo, an MP3, a CD, a link to a YouTube video - whatever you've got.

Contact me if you want to be in the calendar, or if you want to nominate your favorite kalimba-playing friend.


What Happened to the Tips?!

You may have noticed that I haven't been keeping up with the Tips of the Day for the last few months. Sorry about that, but my life has been busy and overwhelming - I'm sure you have had rough patches like that.

After this newsletter is out, I will make a concerted effort to jump start each of the Tips series once again, so be on the lookout for more new tips, including a series from a kalimba maker in Great Britian who shares some of his secrets with us about making kalimbas.


Upcoming New Products

The Pentatonic Kalimba Song Book

Kathryn Rambo and I are just finishing up a book of 29 well-known popular and folk songs for the pentatonic kalimba. This lovely book has 64 pages, presenting the songs in both kalimba tablature and staff notation, and comes with a CD with 33 tracks. This book will be available for $20 by the time we get around to the next newsletter. Contact me if you want to preorder one of these for $15 (sorry, no coupons for additional discounts on this special price).

Catania Pentatonic Kalimba With Pickup

Steve Catania has been tinkering in the shop lately, and you'll love to see what he has come up with: a beatiful pentatonic solid body kalimba with a pickup! I expect these to be available in late June or early July. Contact me if you want me to order one for you.

Thomas Bothe's Very Special 2B Kalimbas

Some of the most innovative kalimbas to hit the scene are the Thomas Bothe "2B" kalimba line. To see what I mean, view a 2B Kalimba in action on YouTube. You can also see a short film on Thomas's island home and his kalimba workshop.

The exciting news is that Kalimba Magic will be carrying the 2B Kalimbas very soon. We expect a shipment of two different 2B models in July - a small 9-Note model and a larger 14-Note model, both based on the optional resonator system. I am not yet sure how much these will cost, but a preliminary figure is $110 for the 9-Note and $190 for the 14-Note, and $80-$100 for the frame resonator. These are pricey, but I think many people will find these kalimbas to be among the best and worth the price. Thomas Bothe is a master at creating kalimba designs and at transforming the designs and raw materials into truly magical instruments; he has a magic touch, and you may want your life to be touched by this master's hands.

Contact me if you want to reserve one of these amazing kalimbas.

The Hugh Tracey Student Karimba

We have been making 8-Note student karimbas (also known as primal karimbas, thought to be the original tuning of the metal-tined kalimbas some 1300 years ago) out of the Catania 8-Note kalimbas. We just got a bunch of Hugh Tracey 8-Note kalimbas without paint, so now we can make the Student Karimbas out of the Hugh Tracey stock as well. These are not online yet, but will be the same price as the western-tuned Hugh Tracey 8-Notes: $59 without pickup, or $74 with pickup. Contact me if you are interested in one before I get them in the online store.

Bb or D Celeste Trebles

The Kalimba Magic modification of the Hugh Tracey Treble to make the Bb and D Trebles is a monumental evolutionary step of the kalimba. We have just received some Celeste Trebles with and without pickups but without paint - so we can set them up as Bb or D Celeste Trebles. Keys available: A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, D#, E. These are available for the same price as the Celeste Trebles - $100 without pickup or $121 with pickup. Contact me if you are interested in one before I get them in the online store.


Some Bargain Kalimbas

We still have Box Chromatics without Pickups

The Hugh Tracey Alto is $127, or $140 with pickup. The Hugh Tracey Box Chromatic with pickup (i.e., an Alto in the front and a pentatonic to cover the flats on the back) is $145. But the real ganga is the Box Chromatic without pickup, available for only $100 while supplies last. (In other words, we have them by accident and we are trying to sell them all away.) So, if you don't need a pickup, this is a great kalimba. Even if you never try to use it as a chromatic, you still have an Alto on the front, for significantly less money than an Alto - and don't forget to use the coupons for 15% off through Father's Day or 20% off on June 20 for an even better deal.

Half Price Kalimbas

About 1% of the kalimbas I get from Africa develop cracks in the face wood. Originally, my thought was that these should not be sold - or if the crack developed in the first year in the new owner's hands, the kalimba would be replaced. However, the Hugh Tracey brand is strong, and because of the dollar's exchange rate, Hugh Tracey Kalimbas are expensive, and I have decided to offer kalimbas with minor unrepaired cracks, or with larger repaired cracks, at half price. We currently have a few Altos and a few Trebles, both with and without pickups. Contact me if you are interested in a half price Alto or Treble with repaired or minor cracks. The cracks do not make a major impact on the instrument's sound—the defect is mainly cosmetic.


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